Logitech Just Bought Astro. Here are my rambling thoughts about it.
They’re saying all the right things for the moment. Logitech G will still be primarily a PC gaming brand and Astro will primarily be a console brand.
But will it stay this way? Will the Astro lineup lose its very solid PC functionality? Will Logitech force their drivers and designs into Astro products? Will Astro be forced to incorporate RGB lighting into their stuff?
We just don’t know. Part of it is exciting, and part of it is terrifying, as a new fan of Astro.
Why am I having this conflict?
I know I shouldn’t be such a pessimist, since everyone seems very positive about it right now. But I’ve been burned hard by so many other acquisitions in the gaming and tech spaces, such that I can’t help but be a little bit skeptical. I assume that, as usual, the bottom line will run everything.
It’s ironic too, because for a while now Astro has been owned by a different big company that even changed hands last year: Skullcandy. A company that sometimes makes great decisions and sometimes makes weird ones.
I have enjoyed some of their headphones, and they managed to give Astro the room to do their own thing, so why am I so worried?
I think it’s because I haven’t liked a Logitech headset since the G430, and I haven’t liked a Logitech sound system since the height of their THX/Surround Sound days a decade ago. And because of my recent experience.
Astro’s headsets are good enough that the core design has remained in place for almost a decade. I hope Logitech recognizes that, and doesn’t try to push their weird new “G” aesthetic onto them. It sounds like they’re planning to do just that, but we’ll see.
It’s hard for me to find a headset that fits my head well and has a sound signature I like, and the Astro A40 does both those things exceptionally well. I hope it’s still around five years from now and that this buyout gives many other people the chance to buy one in their part of the world.
Of course… by five years from now I will probably have had at least one or two other favorite headsets, because of how the tech world rolls unceasingly along…
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The gaming acquisitions I’m still the most bummed about are Origin and Westwood, both victims of the EA machine. Origin used to make some of the most interesting, genre defining games. These days…the brand and logo are the face of EA’s digital storefront.
Westwood basically created the real time strategy game, and honed it into a popular genre. They also made a really cool MMO I liked called Earth and Beyond. Think of it as an early take on Star Citizen…only it was an actually-released product.
Earth and Beyond was Westwood’s final project, and the last chapter in EA’s five year quest to slowly bury Westwood’s legacy in the ground.
Okay, I’m being a little dramatic. But when EA bought Westwood, they were on top of the PC gaming space. Then five years later, they were gone.
It’s hard not to draw at least a correlation there.
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I know I shouldn’t fear these changes.
They are inevitable.
But it’s so easy to get caught up in tech and gaming products, and then want them to do only the things you want in the future. Even though I have absolutely zero control over what Astro does from here on out, it feels like I should have a say because I really like their thing.
I’m not at all an owner of Astro. I wasn’t before this acquisition and I won’t be afterwards. Until this week, I didn’t have any kind of personal stake in this, and it’s a little startling that I do now.
I should remember to take a step back.
Hopefully, if Logitech does stomp all over Astro’s legacy for some reason, someone else can step in to fill the void. I can’t predict the future. But it’s so easy to want stability in the tech space, because of the power of fandom.
In reality… stability is the one thing that tech is awful at. Instead, “Progress” is king.